NYCHoops - Illinois lands top 50 point guard Andre Curbelo
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Illinois lands top 50 point guard Andre Curbelo

Andre Curbelo
Andre Curbelo (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Brad Underwood and Illinois wanted to be sure to land a point guard from the class and the Illini scored with one of the very best on Friday when Andre Curbelo announced that he will wear the orange and blue in college.

A 6-footer from Puerto Rico who has starred at Glen Head (N.Y.) Long Island Lutheran and during the summer with the New York Jayhawks, Curbelo loved everything about the Illini.

“My connection with the players, the campus , the fans, my relationship with coach Underwood," Curbelo told Rivals.com about why he picked Illinois. "How the staff develops their players, the culture and a chance to get a great education from a great academic school.”

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2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position

A natural born leader, Curbelo is one of the best communicators in the class of 2020. He plays with an energy and enthusiasm that his teammates feed off, he delivers crisp passes, has control of the offense and will defend for the length of the court.

Jay David, an assistant at LUHI and the executive director of the Jayhawks --- who have produced six division one players in the 2020 class -- sees good things in the future.

"He's a legitimate top 50 or top 40 type of player and he's proven that," David said. "He's a leader, and I think people will see that he can shoot and score better than they realize. He's up to about 175 pounds now and should be up to at least 185 after a summer on campus."

Curbelo joins a class that already includes three-star face-up four-man Coleman Hawkins and big man Bernard Kouma, who signed last spring before enrolling in a junior college. The class now ranks among the top 30 nationally and could receive a huge boost if the Illini are able to lock down their top remaining target, in-state top 30 guard Adam Miller.